Negotiating collective bargaining agreements

One of my clients is an apprenticeship training unit of the IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers). As a sole proprietor of a software consultancy business I hadn't considered either that I was eligible to become affiliated with any union or the IBEW in particular. I've discovered that (some of) my competitors are signatories to collective bargaining agreements, and so I've started discussing becoming one with the local here.

I spent a few hours on the 'Net the other night trying to find out information I need to know, as a business person, to negotiate with the union, and I find precious little. I've been able to extrapolate quite a bit from reading union sites, but I find it interesting that there doesn't seem to be much information for owners of small businesses. Obviously, my competitors would be a great resource, but I don't have anyone in those companies that I can reach out to, and contacting them cold, as a competitor, is clearly a non-starter.

As for the issue of unionizing, other than the possibility I might raise my father from the dead, or at least have him spinning rapidly in his grave *g*, I'm intrigued by the exercise. There are two immediate benefits that I see: it will smooth the way for other union affiliates to do business with me, and I have to consider issues about being an employer in greater detail than I have before. 

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2 thoughts on “Negotiating collective bargaining agreements

  1. Man, I love community. :) I hadn’t run across that site, so thanks. I’ll look forward to digging in to the detail.

    Again, tho’, it’s from the union’s point of view not from the business owner’s P.O.V.

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